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Employee Spotlight: From DSP to LPN

Laughter and music could be heard from down the hall, as Shaquasha “Quay” Irby, a Medical DSP at the Rainbow Commons ICF made her rounds to check on residents. A drawn out “Quay” came from the living room as Shaquasha “Quay” Irby, a Medical DSP with CitizensChrissy, a resident at 915 Rainbow, needed a refill on her iced tea. She also wanted help changing the show she was watching on her iPad.

Shaquasha was lovingly given the nickname “Quay” by the people she supports.

Shaquasha, Medical Direct Support Professional (DSP), recently won Employee of the Quarter for the 4th quarter of 2022. She was nominated by Assistant Manager Jason Brown for going above and beyond for the residents she supports.

For the past two years, Shaquasha has worked at Rainbow Commons as a Medical DSP. The ICF was short-staffed during the pandemic and at times, Shaquasha found herself working two jobs at once.

Medical DSPs require an Approved Medication Administration Personnel (AMAP) certification, which permits them to administer medications, attend medical appointments, and provide basic first aid.

Eight years ago, Shaquasha began her career as a DSP in the private care sector. She has plans to further her career in supporting people with an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD).

“Working here is a step in helping me get to where I want to go,” Shaquasha said.

She is currently attending Hunter Business School’s Practical Nursing Training Program and is expected to receive her Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) certification next year. Citizens Options Unlimited supports employee’s personal development by providing financial support for school and credentialing programs to further support their career growth.

“This is my field because I enjoy helping others to achieve goals that they might not be able to do independently,” she said.

As the weather continues to get nicer, Shaquasha along with Akeem Murray, Rainbow Commons House Manager, and Jason Brown, Assistant House Manager, will begin to plan a fun summer schedule. They look forward to plenty of beach and day trips, lots of basketball and baseball games, and even a trip to the Poconos.

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